Personal message from Lori: it’s Authentic Thursday time again!
On Thursdays we are joined by various blogging/writing friends who have agreed to join forces with the purpose of simply being themselves. I cannot take credit for their skill or gifts or natural abilities … but I am happy to say that I dig their style and friendship and authenticity!
Today I have the honor of introducing you to my friend Justin Grant. He’s a deep-thinker, a funny guy, a fantastic father and husband… his wife Lisa and daughter Summer are very blessed to have this man in their lives! Thank you, Justin, for your inspiring challenge today! – Lori
“Adjust your doctrine – or just minimize doctrine – to attract the world, and in the very process of attracting them, lose the radical truth that alone can set them free.”
― John Piper
“Lately I’ve been noticing a rapid increase of moral relativism in my immediate world. Multiple first hand encounters are inspiring me to consider and account for the importance I see in keeping a fundamental belief in a divine doctrine. Though many probably disagree with that idea, I think opposing faiths might find common ground in my reasoning.
Our own human creativity and parental intuition should suggest some principles behind having a creator. It would be unlikely that a cognitive creative being would give so much attention to detail, emotion, diversity, and free will without possessing an intense creative investment and parental sense. It would further be unlikely that such a being would do so without some form of lasting communication, something clearly set apart from the free will nature of man to serve as a catalyst in connecting what would prove to be an infinitely fallible mankind to an eternally indisputable and enigmatic God. It would be logical to conclude that a divine doctrine would accomplish this goal, especially if the creator was so far beyond our intellectual capacity that we needed some form of help.
We are Imperfect
It’s obvious we’re fallible creatures, and many would use this point to argue against the reliability of any scripted account of divine doctrine, but it would make sense that a creator would communicate through some tangible medium; through human language, by common words, and by written script for the purpose of solidifying and sealing an intended message. Not that we shouldn’t question the source, but for the sake of setting a foundation, man’s fallibility should manifest itself in translation rather than original script. As imperfect beings we need something perfect and immutable to grasp onto if we want to be able to trust any of it at all. Any decision to pick and choose something based on preference or feeling is flawed because our imperfect perception and misunderstandings will always fail us. A foundation based on what our “hearts” tell us will be so variable and shallow, that eventually all confidence in any belief or concept of truth will vanish. We must adopt something external to our human nature in order to have any hope in its validity.
Pride and Original Sin
Finally, let’s consider the story of Adam and Eve. Many scholars have spent countless hours trying to decipher what the actual fruit was that Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat, but it actually doesn’t matter. As with most sin, the problem wasn’t the act itself but the consequences the act would incur. In the case of Adam and Eve, the long term consequence goes without saying, but the immediate consequence was the knowledge of good and evil, and a perception of equality with God (see footnote #1). This original sin is the height of moral relativism!; the pride to perceive one’s self to have enough moral authority to determine one’s own right or wrong. If you believe in a higher power, such authority cannot come from imperfect or cosmically naive created beings. It must come from the creator who made and understands them from an eternal perspective they aren’t capable of reaching themselves, just like the parent who knows what’s best for his/her child whom can’t possibly grasp the adult world and it’s responsibilities.
Our response is our Moral Compass
Considering these things, we owe it to ourselves to tune our moral compasses to some absolute truth. If our compass is misaligned, unused, or we’ve misidentified the stars we follow, we’ll get nowhere fast whether we’re moving or not. Our feelings will deceive us, and we’ll blind ourselves to what’s actually fair, just, or true. We’ll be fooled by what we think in the moment feels fair, convenient, or protects someone’s feelings. We need to learn to give feelings less credit and seek wisdom in their place. We need Divine Doctrine! Otherwise, we’ll forever perpetuate our moral adolescence and history will forever repeat itself until God decides to intervene once and for all.
Personally, I can only see the Bible satisfying this requirement. I see no other document having so many authors, split between hundreds of years in parts, while remaining so true to itself and sustaining predictions and prophecy so reliably along the way. It so clearly defines the condition of man, and the loving arm of our Creator reaching down to help. It defies all human nature and proves too otherworldly to be contrived, and it defines too much of our world’s culture today to be dismissed as archaic dogma.”
Footnotes: 1. Genesis 3:4-5
My name is Justin Grant, and I’m a dedicated husband and a father.
By trade, I’m an engineer with most of my experience revolving around web technologies for “the internets”. Spiritually, I’m a sinner with an acute awareness of my need for a savior and a strong desire and hope to do eternally significant things with my life.
As a hobbyist, I’m a bit of a hypocrite: I’m a musician that rarely plays, a poet that rarely writes, and a surfer that’s only surfed 1 year of my 40 here on earth many years ago. My most consistent hobby is travelling and sightseeing, while many other hobbies I pursue are curious whims that usually prove fleeting.
I’m genealogically related to Ulysses S. Grant and spiritually related to everyone, with a particular kinship to Bono however delusional that might be. I love movies, art, music, inspiration, playing video games, board games, giving gifts, and fishing. I’m a great cook, but have little interest in cooking, and I desperately want to make my own board game, screenplay, and movie someday.
One of my greatest personal hopes in this earthly life is that I live long enough to see my daughter marry a good man, and to see her joy in raising my grandchildren. I’m a huge C.S. Lewis fan, and I love to try new things, and I often wish I could show people my thoughts so they could see how much I care about them.